Director of Tourism W Ibohal expressed the need of developing rural and community tourism, as most of the tourists prefer to witness and experience the lifestyles of the locals.
He was delivering the presidential speech during the National Tourism Day 2022 celebration on Tuesday at Ibudhou Marjing Polo Complex in Heingang, Imphal East.
As instructed by the North East Council (NEC), the state Tourism department has submitted 25 names of unexplored tourist spots of Manipur for developmental projects, Ibohal said.
For the development of the Loktak Lake into a world class tourism centre, DPR has been sent to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for sanctioning of Rs 1,350 crore, Ibohal said, adding that in this regard the state government had several meetings with the ADB.
Stating that it is strongly believed that the ADB will surely approve and sanction the amount, he said, “Once it is approved Manipur will witness the greatest development of Loktak lake with all the world class amenities to attract tourists.”
Talking on some other major projects of tourism in Manipur which are in the pipeline, he said that construction of a water amusement park amounting to Rs 40 crore at Awang Potsangbam is in progress.
Retaining and preserving works of houses at INA headquarter which were affected during the World War is also in progress. The work is estimated to cost Rs 30 crore, he added.
The ongoing construction work of the 120-feet-tall statue of a Sagol Kangjei (Polo) player riding a pony at Marjing Hill will also be completed by mid 2022 and construction of world-class polo ground at the birthplace of modern polo (Ipudhou Marjing Khubham) at Heingang in Imphal East will be started, he added.
With such various initiatives taken up by the state government, Manipur will soon witness a great progress in the Tourism sector, the director said.
Commissioner of Tourism RK Jha in his chief guest speech said, Manipur has a great potential for tourism, but only 10 per cent of the potential has been explored till date.
Jha pointed out that it is not the responsibility of the government alone to bring development in the tourism sector, there is a need for participation of local populace and community in the development of Tourism sectors. This way, tourists will get a friendly environment and at the same time there will be economical growth of the local area, he added.